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Saturday, 8 July 2017

Mystery solved: Here's what the Malayalam part of Dil Se's Jiya Jale song means

I had an abnormal childhood. While you'd sit and wonder which colour to choose from I'd sit and wonder, "Why is this Melody so chocolaty?". I used to wonder, "How does Govinda change 5 shirts and 6 pants in one song?".

And this was just one of the many mysteries which were an important part of my childhood. Most of them got resolved as my life became more miserable and didn't allow me to think creatively. But there was one particular mystery which continued to bother me.

The non-decodable part of Dil Se's Jiya Jale which according to me is -

Chandari Bandar Bundiko, Bandari Puttar Jindiko, Tanduri Khaave Tanduri Bhaave

I come from Gujarat so for me, it falls in the category of other South Indian words that I know of - 'Anda Gunda Thanda Paani'. The other thing I know about South India is the Lungi Dance which a Bollywood superstar showed me in a movie that had nothing to do with Chennai. Irony just climbed a coconut tree.

But if you are someone who easily gets offended, here's something we've kept ready for you...

For most of us, South India is all about Rajinikanth, coconuts and cinema that makes you question Physics and everything else your Science teacher taught you. I know I sound like an illiterate a-hole but that's as real as it gets. The fact is, to every North Indian, South Indian languages are F-A-S-C-I-N-A-T-I-N-G.

An 'Eppadi Irruke' sounds way cooler than a 'Kaisa Hai'. It is this fascination which forced me to memorise the Malayali segment of Dil Se's song 'Jiya Jale Jaan Jale'. Obviously, I had no clue it was Malayali until I googled it. Through its 'I know what you're thinking' algorithm, Google suggested a link to the meaning of the Malayali part of this song. That's all I needed in my life.

Enough said, let's get to what does the song actually mean. But before that, for the love of Kerala, let's get the lyrics right.


Punchiri thanji konjikko
Munthiri mutholi chinthikko
Monjani varna chundari vaave
Thaankunakka thakathimi aadum thankanilaave,  hoy

Thanka kolusalle
Kurukum kuyilalle
Marana Mayilalley
Here's a word-by-word breakdown of the song.

Punchiri = smile
Konjuka = The way in which babies/children talk (Not getting the exact term). In an elder generation we can compare it to flirting.
Munthiri = grapes
Mutholi = beauty of pearls (comparison to teeth)
chinthuka = to spread
Monjani varna = beautifully colored
chundari vaava = beautiful girl
Thankunakka thakathimi = a malayalam beat, something similar to Balley balley or similar
Thanka nilavu = Golden moonlight
Thanka kolusu = Golden anklet
Kuyil = Koel Bird
Kurukuka = coo
Maran = Lover
Mayil = Peacock

And a rough translation would be something like -

Flirt with your smiles
Spread your beautiful smile [from your grape shaped pearly whites]
Oh, you beautiful young lady
Oh, you [dancing] golden moonlight

You are a golden anklet,
A cooing Koel,
A peacock to thy lover

If you thought I became an overnight genius in Malayalam, I didn't. A dude named Christy John did us vellahs a great favour by helping us with the lyrics.

(Source: Being Indian)

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